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FATAL POLICE SHOOTING-COLUMBUS

Armed robbery suspect fatally shot by officer in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police say an armed man wearing a hockey-type mask barged into a Columbus Bob Evans restaurant, demanded that a manager open a safe and was fatally shot by an officer during a confrontation. The attempted robbery and police shooting occurred around 7:45 a.m. Saturday. The suspect, whose name and age haven't been released, died at a Columbus hospital. Police say the manager was struck in the head with a gun and was taken to a hospital for treatment. No customers or employees in the restaurant at the time were injured. Police are investigating whether the suspect was a former employee.

FATAL AKRON FIRE

Attorneys: Fatal arson suspect shouldn't face death penalty

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Attorneys for an Ohio man facing aggravated murder charges in the arson deaths of nine people say extensive brain damage makes him ineligible for a death sentence. The Akron Beacon Journal reports defense attorneys for 60-year-old Stanley Ford in a brief filed this week wrote that Ford is cognitively impaired and has the mental capacity of a juvenile or an intellectually disabled person. Summit County prosecutors disagreed, saying Ford has a rational understanding of the punishment he could face if convicted. Ford is accused of killing his Akron neighbors in two separate arson fires in 2016 and 2017.

SMUGGLED DRUGS-INMATE DEATH

Prosecutor: Woman smuggled drugs that killed Ohio inmate

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a woman who smuggled the drugs that killed an Ohio prison inmate when a balloon containing methamphetamine broke open inside his body has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. The Warren Tribune Chronicle reports 37-year-old Latonya Cliff, of Cleveland, was indicted Thursday in Mahoning County for the death of 28-year-old Perez Worley. He died in December 2018 at the privately operated Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown. Worley was serving a life sentence for a 2014 slaying outside Cleveland. Authorities say the balloon was one of eight inside Worley's body. An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for Cliff.

UNEMPLOYMENT-OHIO

Ohio unemployment rate unchanged in December

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's unemployment rate held steady at 4.2% in December for the fourth month in a row. State officials said Friday that seasonally adjusted nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by 9,800 jobs in December with 5.6 million people employed. The number of those unemployed in Ohio was up 1,000 from November to December. The number of those unemployed decreased by 4,000. Ohio's unemployment rate the previous December stood at 4.6%. The national rate of unemployment was 3.5% in December, unchanged from the previous month, and down from 3.9% in December 2018.

COLUMBUS DIOCESE-CLERGY ABUSE

Columbus diocese task force examining sexual abuse policies

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus has created a task force to examine its policies regarding the sexual abuse of minors by priests. The Columbus Dispatch reports the diocese in Ohio's capital city also has hired a law firm to conduct a search to determine whether other priests should be added to the current list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse. Bishop Robert Brennan says he wants to look at the sexual abuse of minors by clergy with “new eyes.” Brennan was installed as bishop last March. The diocese's list of accused priests currently includes 50 names.

LORDSTOWN AUTO PLANT

Startup may ask for loan to revamp former GM plant in Ohio

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — A startup company that wants to build electric trucks at a former General Motors assembly plant in Ohio is considering asking for a federal loan to get production running. U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, an Ohio Democrat, says he expects Lordstown Motors Corp. to apply soon for a $200 million loan. The company announced late last year that it had bought the once-bustling factory near Youngstown that closed last March 2019. Lordstown Motors says it's learning more about the loan program. The company didn't reveal additional details. It has said it wants to begin production by year's end.

OPIOID CRISIS-PURDUE BANKRUPTCY

Opioid victims can begin filing claims against Purdue Pharma

The federal judge overseeing the bankruptcy case of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma set a June 30 deadline to file claims against the company. That includes governments, entities such as hospitals and, for the first time, individuals with personal injury claims. There is no guarantee that people who became addicted to opioids or their families would receive any money, and the judge emphasized that those claims would be open only to people who believe they were harmed by Purdue. Purdue plans to spend $23.8 million to advertise the deadline, an unusually large amount to notify potential creditors in a bankruptcy case.

CHINA-OUTBREAK-OHIO ADVISORY

Ohio says new virus cases must be reported immediately

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio health department is ordering that any cases of the dangerous new virus from China be reported to the state immediately. So far, there have been just two U.S. patients diagnosed and none in Ohio. The state's health director issued the directive Friday and says she wants to make sure Ohio’s public health system is prepared. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expecting more Americans to be diagnosed with the newly discovered virus in coming days.

CANDIDATE-DATING SITE

Ohio GOP asks candidate to withdraw over dating site account

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Ohio Republican Party has asked a state House candidate to withdraw from the March primary because he had an account on an online site that encourages extramarital affairs. GOP Chairwoman Jame Timken said Friday that candidate Joe Dills exercised “a gross lack of judgment.” Dills is in a three-way primary for a seat representing Clermont County, just east of Cincinnati in southwest Ohio. Dills said he was single in 2013 when he signed up with Ashley Madison, but that he never used the site to meet anyone and is embarrassed. His current wife says she supports his continued candidacy.

MISSING WOMAN-OHIO

Missing woman's body found in reservoir; car crash suspected

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) — The body of a missing Ohio woman has been found in the state park reservoir where a vehicle she had been driving was pulled from the water a day earlier. The Clark County Coroner's Office confirmed the body found Friday at Buck Creek State Park was that of LaTricia Bass-Jefferies. State troopers say there are no signs of foul play and the case is being investigated as a traffic crash. The Dayton woman hadn't been seen since last Saturday after she took another woman to Springfield. Her husband had reported her missing on Sunday.